Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.
October 24, 2013 at 11:18 AM
Education Lab commenting guidelines
Education Lab is a place for constructive conversation. One of the project’s main objectives is to provide an online space where people from every corner of the education landscape feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, opinions and ideas. To help accomplish this goal, here are some simple guidelines for commenting on Education Lab posts. These guidelines determine how we will moderate comments. Our seattletimes.com commenting guidelines also apply here.
DO respect others and focus your criticism on ideas rather than people.
DON’T use personal attacks. Profanity, name-calling and comments about other users’ personal lives will not be tolerated.
Bad: Well, Judas Priest! Tammy the Teacher sure is full of phooey. I feel bad for that buck-faced husband of hers.
Better: I disagree with Tammy the Teacher’s argument. Now, allow me to offer my own fact-based counterpoint…
DO keep the conversation focused on the topic at hand.
DON’T use the space to promote your personal agenda or voice irrelevant opinions about tangential issues.
Bad: This education problem is all Miley Cyrus’ fault. She is the worst person ever and the cause of all our country’s troubles. You know what else really grinds my gears? Long lines at the supermarket…
Better: This is a really complex issue, and it doesn’t seem as though there is a simple solution. However, one idea I’ve observed is…
DO frame your comments in way that pushes the discussion toward achievable outcomes.
DON’T make a habit of shooting down other people’s ideas without offering your own alternatives.
Bad: Our local school system has been doomed for years. Might as well just give up now and send all the kids back to work in the fields.
Better: Education leaders have made many mistakes with Topic X. It’s time to shift our focus to a new way of thinking about this issue.
About the authors
Katherine Long has been a reporter for The Seattle Times since 1990, focusing for the past three years on higher ed, with stories that have ranged from the complexities of prepaid tuition programs to nontraditional ways to earn a degree.
Claudia Rowe joined The Seattle Times’ reporting staff in 2013. She has written about education for The New York Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, among other publications.
Mike Siegel has been a news photographer at the Seattle Times since 1987. His photography was used in a series titled "Methadone and the Politics of Pain," which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for investigative reporting.
Janet Horne Henderson is The Times’ education editor. She has directed award-winning stories and projects examining race, immigration, religion and health, in addition to education
Caitlin Moran is community engagement editor for Education Lab. Her role is to help foster constructive dialogue online and in person
Read extended bios.
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